Sanitary behaviours slow to change in rural India

THE randomised controlled trial in 80 villages increased by 20% the number of households with improved latrines and reduced open defecation by adults by about 10%.

However, this did not lead to reduced open defecation by children nor reduced diarrhoeal disease, helminth infections or anaemia among the 5000 children involved.

The study was the first published evaluation of India’s ongoing sanitation campaign and contrasted with successes in smaller efficacy studies, the researchers said.

PLoS Med 2014; online 26 Aug